Updated: Aug 19, 2020
For me, the strangest thing about publication is the way it pulls in other people.
Because for the better part of a year, I was a one-woman band. Just me and my laptop. The closest thing I had to colleagues were the staff at my local coffee shop, where I spent so much time that my favourite barista gave me a Christmas card, with a hand-drawn cartoon of a smiling cup above the message: 'Merry Christmas, Miss Flat White!"
Then I finished the third draft and the one-woman band became a duet with my 'writing wife' Ness Lyons, herself a talented author (watch this space - bestseller on the way!). She went through my manuscript with a fine-tooth comb and a good-natured eye roll, planting warning flags beside plot holes so I wouldn't fall in, and generally trying to make my characters settle down and behave.
But after that, it was back to the drawing board, the coffee shop, the flat whites.
Then the book sold and everything changed.
Now there are editors and artists, foreign rights specialists, marketing departments, the audiobook team and the actress they’ve chosen to read. Graphic artists create 'packages' for online promotion.
My one-woman band is silent as a whole orchestra tunes up and starts running through its sheet music while I hang around in the wings feeling redundant. I have already played my part, so can only stand and marvel at all these strangers, spinning themselves around something I tapped into a keyboard against a backdrop of hissing foam.
This book was my baby and now it is leaving me, moving away, in the company of strangers. I'd like to meet them all, to thank them for helping my baby take its first steps out into the big, wide world. I imagine us all chatting together, strangers no more, crowded into the coffee shop, drinking flat whites